Roll up, roll up! Please form an orderly queue for the all-new, all-outrageous Sex Scientific Research Show! According to the Australian Daily Telegraph, fat men enjoy this carnival of degenerate academia when it lasts longer:
Where to begin with such a headline? For starters, it’s cynical, sloppy, and daft. It’s a barely significant generalisation dressed up as a salient fact. Ambiguity compounds its wrongness: it’s supposed to mean that (some) fat men have longer lasting sex, but the Telegraph‘s use of enjoy suggests that they might not enjoy it if it didn’t last as long.
And have or enjoy what? This too is open to misinterpretation. Summarising the research in lucid headlinese requires rearranging the above (e.g., “Scientific research shows…”) or placing a comma after sex and an s at the end of show. Without them the headline is made sillier still, because it changes the object from longer lasting sex to longer lasting sex scientific research show.
The last three words are probably intended to stress the article’s pseudo-respectability. There are fewer pretensions at the Weekly World News, which offers the snappier but equally inane “Study: Fat Men Better In Bed”. Granted, the apparent source of this ‘news’ has a much duller title and conclusion, and it appears in a journal few men would read in public, but at least it doesn’t insult our intelligence and our grasp of elementary syntax..
I saw this one Stan and had a bit of fun with it myself. Oddly enough, I had been singing along to “Fat Man in the Bathtub with the Blues” earlier on and wondered if the song would have been written if Lowell George had read the headline.
End of chorus goes like this:
“‘Cause there’s a fat man in the bathtub with the blues
I hear you moan, I hear you moan, I hear you moan — moan.”
It might be good for what ailed him, I’m thinkin’.
English, Schmenglish, It’s ALL true!!!! We gentlemen of a larger carriage can dream too!
On the other hand a sex scientific research show could do well on the burlesque circuit.. All those good looking boffins in low cut lab coats.. PHWOOOAR!
WWW: A bath and the blues is good for many ailments! I didn’t know the song, but I do now. Thanks for making the introduction.
Jams: You might be onto something with the burlesque. Camp has room for all types, and they say science has never been sexier.
Well, in Germany an age long field study arrived at the conclusion: Ein guter Hahn wird selten fett. (A good cockerel seldom grows fat).
I’d not be surprised, if some Turkish scientists felt severely insulted by above’s notice, and within the next fifty years (serious scientific research takes a bit) found out that without the technical skills of Turkish masterminds the Germans up till now would not know how to shut and open a door, ’cause, after all, why would these mossbacks call their door-handles Türklinke?
Sean: “A good cockerel seldom grows fat” sounds more like a proverb than a research conclusion. Indeed, I think there’s a Portuguese saying along those lines. It’s good for the cockerel not to grow fat, I suppose, lest he appear too appetising.
Ah, it’s of course a proverb, Stan; the result of age long observation (field study) put into one sentence.
Have I been joking? No.
I am as serious as are the greatest Turkish scientists one of whom undoubtedly will soon give evidence that the universe was created by a Turk.
As you (mainly) focus on language (which by the way very probably has been invented by a Turk), of hundreds of evidences for the superiority of Turks I offer but one.
Long live the wisdom of Turkish scientists; and may never ever anybody violate article 301.
Well, I for one congratulate Turkish scientists for focusing on something so ermm..important and giving portly men everywhere a reason to love their gut. I wonder how on earth they conducted an experiment like that? If they relied on anecdotal evidence from the tubby men, I’d have to call foul. Methinks it would be like a fishing tale..you know, it just gets bigger and bigger with each retelling. ;)
Jo: I see what you mean! However, the eligibility criteria as described in the original article probably minimised the likelihood of false reports.
Yeah, the disappointing thing about this is that it’s grammatically incorrect, and not even in a way where correcting the grammar would eliminate the crash blossom. “Fat men enjoy longer lasting sex scientific research shows” still holds the same ambiguity. In fact, because of this grammatical error, the wrong interpretation–that the object is “longer lasting sex scientific research show”–becomes the only one that parses as “valid”.
Chad: It’s a mess. Careless style and punctuation, coupled with a grammatical lapse.